Insta-Party: Ham, Blue Cheese, Pear Bites with Jack and Ginger

Pear, Blue Cheese, Ham Bites

Mmm, fall. Apples and pumpkins may take center stage this season, but it’s also the best time of year for pears.  Even your regular grocery store should have a few different varieties right now. I picked up one named ‘Taylor’s Gold’ at my market and it was delicious. Perfectly ripe and juicy but with a pleasantly grainy skin. Spread with a little blue cheese and wrapped with ham and it was pure snack heaven. Right now is the perfect time to stretch your pear-adventure muscles, so consider picking up a new variety and giving it a try!

Pear, Blue Cheese, Ham Bites

One pear will make about a dozen bites. These are essentially a delicious cheese platter rolled up into one bite. The sweet pear is perfect with the creamy, pungent cheese and salty ham. Shameless plug – for even more great cheese pairings, consider hopping on over to my etsy shop and buying my Little Wine and Cheese Party zine!

Pear, Blue Cheese, and Ham Bites

One ripe gold pear

1/4 cup soft, mild blue cheese (try a Cambozola or a Saga Blue)

1 thin slice of good quality ham, sliced into 12 long strips

Black pepper to taste

Core pear and slice thinly. Top each slice with a little blue cheese and wrap with a strip of ham. Sprinkle generously with pepper and serve.

Pear, Blue Cheese, Ham Bites

The simple Jack Daniels and ginger ale cocktail holds a very special place in my heart. Mostly because they held a LARGE place in the heart of my late great-grandmother. She had a little house near the Delaware shore where I was lucky enough to spend many long summer weeks.  5:00 PM every night at that house was a magic time – cocktail hour. Her friends and neighbors all had an open invitation to stop by for a drink and a snack. (What, you didn’t think I came up with the idea for an Insta-party all on my own, did you?) Us kids would get a soda or maybe a virgin strawberry daiquiri if we’d been particularly good. Sometimes the snack would just be a bowl of nuts, or a can of black olives. But if we were really lucky, it would be a big platter of steamed blue crabs we’d caught that morning.

Grandma always kept a stock of wine and beer for her guests, along with a pretty seriously stocked bar. But when cocktail hour arrived, she inevitably called for two-fingers of Jack Daniels over ice topped with Canada Dry ginger ale. It’s the first cocktail I ever made, starting around the tender age of 8. Back then, it was three fingers worth of JD, you know, ‘cuz I had small fingers!

Jack and Ginger

At 5:00 PM, fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour Jack Daniels over ice to taste (though the two finger rule Grandma lived by is pretty perfect). Top with ginger ale and stir gently to combine.

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